IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said most Ixtapa Zihuatanejo boats averaged about 4 sailfish and 1 blue marlin raised per outing during the week. "Cooler, 79-degree water is moving down from the north," Kunze said, "and the division between that cool water and 82-degree water is right in front of Zihuatanejo. There are fewer sailfish and more blue marlin."
Top outings during the week included a 7-sailfish release day by the panga Huntress, and 5 sailfish plus 2 marlin raised in 2 outings by Capt. Martin of the Nautilus with fly fishing angler Pat Dunlap of Oregon.
Inshore fishing produced jack crevalle, and some roosterfish, including a 60 pounder reported by Capt. Adolfo of the panga Dos Hermanos. "He slow-trolled a large live mackerel, and also caught a couple of smaller roosterfish on smaller baits," Kunze said. Jacks to 22 pounds were also caught on Rapalas, and fly fishing angler Rob Morton scored a small roosterfish at Saladita.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was mostly clear at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 78 to 83 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported improved overall fishing from about 10 miles out. Black and blue marlin over 200 pounds were caught on slow-trolled live bonito and mackerel baits rigged on downriggers.
Inshore fishing was good for jack crevalle. "Capt. Temo Vernboonen said they are hooking big fish that they never see," Edwards said. "They surmise it is grouper taking baits and lures into the rocks." Ixtapa fishing area weather was sunny at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 79 to 80 degrees inshore and to 82 degrees offshore. Large schools of sardina bait fish were concentrated just north and south of Zihuatanejo bay.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Mike Bulkley of Huntress Sportfishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo reported on 5 outings by the charter panga Huntress for a total of 20 sailfish released. "Blue water was close all week and Capt. Francisco never had to fish past the 13-mile line," Bulkley said. Good numbers of sailfish were present, but dorado continued scarce and yellowfin tuna were not reported. The Huntress' 2 top outings for the week scored 7 sailfish releases on Tuesday and 5 releases on Wednesday.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Ensenada's Vonny's Fleet panga sportfishing service reported improved weather during the week as pangas fished in some windy conditions for Mexico fishing limits of sculpin, bass, and continued yellowtail to 24 pounds caught on aluminum surface jigs. "Our weather was lots better," Villarino said. "They got limits of lings, reds, bass, and sculpin." Anglers fishing for mixed species and up to 2 yellowtail per boat included Jose Luis Cervantes of Hesperia, Calif., Raul Cervantes of La Puente, Calif., and Brian Foley of Ensenada.
Ensenada fishing area weather was sunny in the high-60s, with light winds, ocean swells of 3 feet at Punta Banda, and water temperatures averaging 56 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas at San Quintin reported variable weather for local anglers with cold morning air temperatures and some on-and-off winds. Anglers fishing between winds aboard the charter boats Rommy with Capt. Hector and Pelicano with Capt. Miguel caught Mexico fishing limits of red rockcod, whitefish, lingcod to 15 pounds, and a surprise white sea bass of 65 pounds hooked at the mouth of the bay with a large live sardine bait.
Anglers fishing with Pedro's Pangas during the week included Rich Shary and his group, Scott McCully and Kenny Lyon of Yucca Valley, Calif., and Bernie Melnick of Pioneertown, Calif. Also fishing were Larry Deakyne of Cool, Calif., and Ryan Deakyne of San Diego, Calif., who passed through San Quintin on their return from a Baja run to Punta Chivato.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast at La Bocana on the central Baja Pacific coast, reported good concentrations of whales in the area and very good counts of yellowtail of about 3 kilos each coming in with local boats. "Whales are all over the place," Heil said. "And for the last 3 days, 20 to 50 fish per boat have been caught right in front of the La Bocanita point."
Heil noted that 3 new rooms are being added to Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast. "This is due to popular demand last year," he said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion said few anglers have been fishing in the area during a period of wind and rough seas, but recent catches included a 15-kilo yellowtail brought in by David Pridham of British Columbia who fished near Isla Asuncion. "He and his amigo Kevin were pulling in nice calicos when David thought he had hooked a sea lion," Bondy said. "He was pretty happy when he saw the silver and realized it was a gorgeous yellowtail."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said California gray whales and their newborn young were present in good numbers at Magdalena Bay, as continued rough seas hampered boats attempting to fish offshore, yellowtail were caught at the San Carlos entrada, and some dorado were reported up to 20 miles outside.
"There are still plenty of whales cruising about, as the mommas and their young frolic in the bay," Graham said. Capt. Enrique Soto reported the good yellowtail bite at the entrada."
Graham noted that the Puerto San Carlos segment of the Baja California Sur statewide Copa Gobernador fishing tournament was scheduled for March 6-7, 2009.
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was clear in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported Cabo San Lucas striped marlin counts rebounding during the week, but with some boats at the Golden Gate Bank finding competition from pelicans and squid in the water. "On some days, bait was snatched by pelicans before the marlin could get to it," Ehrenberg said. "Some anglers chose to weight their baits and fish below the surface, only to be frustrated by large squid thrilled to get a free meal."
Dorado of 15 to 40 pounds were caught by 42 percent of Pisces Fleet boats, but just a few yellowfin tuna were reported. Overall, 99 percent of boats caught all species combined.
Top outings during the week included an 11-marlin release day by the Falcon, 10 releases by the Andale, and 2 trips by angler Matt Rainwater for an all-release catch aboard the boat Bill Collector of: 11 marlin, 2 tuna, and 2 mako shark.
Overall, Pisces Fleet boats landed 204 striped marlin, with 202 successfully released, as most boats returned to the Pacific-side fishing grounds on the Golden Gate Bank. Other species caught included yellowtail, skipjack, sierra, and roosterfish.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear and calm, with the water temperature averaging 73 degrees.
For the previous week ending February 18, 2009, Ehrenberg reported marlin action slower at the Golden Gate Bank as 76 percent of Pisces Fleet boats released striped marlin, 48 percent hooked up to 21 dorado per day, and a remarkable 32 percent of boats caught mako shark at the Golden Gate Bank, mostly under 50 pounds. Also caught were large Humboldt giant squid to 40 pounds, sierra, roosterfish, jack crevalle, snappers, pompano, and 1 hammerhead shark released.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 58 charters during the week, with a catch including released fish of: 52 striped marlin, 46 yellowfin tuna, 30 dorado, 8 skipjack, 12 wahoo, and an assortment of yellowtail, snappers, amberjack, roosterfish, and cabrilla.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 53 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 99 striped marlin, 76 dorado of mostly 15 to 25 pounds, 6 yellowfin tuna, 1 mako shark, and 1 wahoo. The top boat for the week was the Gaviota VIII with Capt. Juan Dominguez and a catch of 23 striped marlin in 6 outings. "Billfish catches at Cabo San Lucas rebounded this week," Edwards said. "Marlin were caught in a number of fishing areas from the Golden Gate Bank to the 95 spot."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly clear in the high-80s, with very good sea conditions, light winds, and water temperatures on both sides of the arch ranging from 74 to 77 degrees. Mixed mackerel and caballito live baits remained in good supply.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 14 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 13 striped marlin, 26 dorado of 10 to 35 pounds, and 4 yellowtail of 10 to 15 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 1 outing during the week with anglers Michael Wilson and Vic Parcel, both of Seattle, Wash., for a catch including released fish of: 1 dorado of 10 pounds, and 12 sierra of 4 to 8 pounds. The Cheer's fished off Chileno bay on the Sea of Cortez side in hot weather, water temperatures of 71 to 72 degrees, and very good sea conditions.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing reported boats averaging about 6 striped marlin releases on the Golden Gate Bank and 15 to 25 releases on the Finger Bank farther north. On the Sea of Cortez side, dorado of 20 to 40 pounds were caught at the 95 and 1150 spots and the Gordo Banks. "We are also getting solid action on yellowtail by deep jigging the bottom at land's end," Lowendick said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the charter boat Falcon reported 30 striped marlin released and 12 dorado landed during 5 outings. "All the marlin came from the Golden Gate Bank on mackerel, and the mackerel were caught at the bank," Connolly said. "There were quite a lot of feeding fish throughout the day, with lots of bird activity. The fish came up quickly, and they were not hanging around the boat. One shot and done. There were lots of jumpers. On one occasion we saw 6 stripers free jumping near the boat at the same time. Quite a sight."
Large schools of dorado were also found along the beach at El Migrino, many sierra were at the surf line, and some small roosterfish were also present near shore. Connolly said, "The sierra have been providing fast action on just about everything, with fly rodders doing very well on fish teased with teaser plugs fired into the surf."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was perfect, with water temperatures at 73 to 75 degrees, and clear blue water prevailing.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending February 22, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported striped marlin present but not hungry at the Golden Gate Bank. "You could throw live bait at 20 fish before finding one that would bite," Landrum said. "You could find marlin on the surface almost everyplace but their mouths remained closed. "Around 3 out of 10 boats were releasing a fish."
Inshore fishing for sierra continued to improve, with most anglers targeting them scoring Mexico fishing limits on sierra to 8 pounds.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 73 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 254 bonito, 54 dorado, 29 yellowfin tuna, 3 striped marlin, 5 wahoo, 1 sailfish, 178 sierra, 18 yellowtail, 15 amberjack, 17 cabrilla, 19 roosterfish, and 33 snappers.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures cooler at about 70 degrees and migrating whales present in very good numbers.
Yellowfin tuna of 30 to 60 pounds were present but reluctant to bite for La Playita pangas fishing from La Fortuna to Iman. "They were moody fish that became more shy as conditions fluctuated," Brictson said. "The tuna would come up to feed on chummed sardinas, but would disappear just as fast without showing interest. Tuna catches ranged from 1 to 3 fish per boat when they did decide to bite."
Striped marlin were scattered on the Sea of Cortez side of Cabo San Lucas, with the best marlin action still found on the Pacific side. "Marlin were found in limited numbers on the Sea of Cortez side, oftentimes free jumping, but they were not striking lures and live bait was the best bet," Brictson said.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on 7 surf fishing sessions and 5 panga outings from Feb. 10-20, 2009, with a total of 123 fish caught, including 23 species from the panga and 12 species from the surf.
One surf fishing session produced 8 fish of 8 different species. Overall, species caught by Snow, observed during a visit with the Mexican commercial pangueros at Todos Santos, or obtained from bait salesmen at San Jose del Cabo included:
Balloonfish, banded wrasse, barred serrano, black skipjack bonito, calico lizardfish, cornetfish, dog snapper, dorado, finescale triggerfish, giant hawkfish, giant Humboldt squid, giant Mexican needlefish, goldeneyed tilefish, green jack, green jack, guineafowl pufferfish, ladyfish, longnose pufferfish, Mexican goatfish, Mexican night sergeant, middling thread herring, mutton hamlet, orangeside triggerfish, Pacific creolefish, Pacific porgy, Pacific sierra, player scorpionfish, red scorpionfish, roosterfish, sand grunt, splittail bass, spotted Pacific scorpionfish, spotted rose snapper, striped bonito, yellow snapper, yellowfin croaker, and yellowfin tuna.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported very good sierra fishing from the beach as local shore casters loaded up. "Five-gallon buckets filled up," Graham said. "A handlined, slow retrieved Krocodile lure was the hot ticket. The fly guys went to slow-retrieved chartreuse Clousers and matched the Mexicans fish for fish. As the word spread, some beaches looked like a festival was going on as locals gathered before the sun came up."
Yellowtail of 30 to 40 pounds were reported off Rancho Leonero. Dorado were scattered inshore, and good numbers of yellowfin tuna were present but not biting actively outside of Los Frailes.
Good concentrations of sardina and mullet bait were present, but winter winds were an issue. "Early mornings are mostly calm," Graham said, "but the wind usually picks up about noon and it remains through sundown."
Graham also noted that he will be presenting 2 programs on Baja fly fishing at the Alameda County Fairgrounds annual Fly Fishing Show, in Pleasanton, Calif., on Saturday, February 28, 2009, and Sunday, March 1, 2009.
East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service at East Cape reported warm weather into the low-90s along with plenty of wind during the week, but calming conditions by Wednesday. Yellowtail were reported in good numbers about a quarter-mile off Rancho Leonero at the south end of Bahia de Palmas, with other scattered sightings at La Ribera, and also at Hotel Palmas de Cortez at mid-bay. Also along the beaches were sierra in good concentrations, a few jacks, and some smaller roosterfish. Ladyfish were caught early in the day at Punta Pescadero.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported warm weather to 84 degrees and days with no wind along the Baja coast on the Las Arenas side south of the city and also offshore at Isla Cerralvo.
At the north end of the island, Tortuga Sportfishing pangas found yellowtail to 40 pounds mixed with yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds.
In fishing at Punta Perico on the Baja coast, pangas scored a mix of sierra mackerel and mullet snapper, or pargo lisa in Spanish.
"We have a variety of fishing opportunities for fishermen planning to come to La Paz now," Hernandez said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International at La Paz said some windy days produced areas of green water early in the fishing week, but conditions were improved by Wednesday. Anglers fishing on Tailhunter International pangas found some smaller yellowtail of 10 to 15 pounds close to shore, plus pargo, roosterfish and larger bonito. "Bait is in good supply," Roldan said. "Hopefully the winds will stay down so the water temps can get back to normal."
Leonard Phillips of Baja Pirates announced a Salt Water Flyfishing Clinic from June 27, 2009 to July 2, 2009, with the double occupancy price of $1,880 per person including 6 days, 5 nights, all meals except for drinks and tips, 4 days of instruction and fishing, Mexican fishing licenses, transfers and taxes, and fish vacuum packing and freezing. Information, SealevelFlyFish.com and Bajapirates.com.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported on a panga outing with Capt. Paulino Martinez aboard his panga Dorado Fumador for a catch at Punta Tierra Firma on the south end of Isla Coronado and Piedra de Lajas on the east side of the island including released fish of: 15 small yellowtail released, 1 yellowtail of about 10 pounds, 4 barracuda, and 2 keeper leopard grouper of about 6 to 8 pounds. "We netted a load of sardinas in front of the Loreto malecón," Bear said. "It was a fun, sunny day of fishing."
Another outing by Capt. Francisco Martinez to Punta Pulpito, about 30 miles north of Loreto, produced 3 yellowtail of 20 to 30 pounds.
Loreto fishing area weather was sunny and warmer in the low-80s, with calmer winds and flatter seas.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company at Loreto noted her new status as a Mexican citizen and membership in the Loreto conservation organization Eco Alianza. "Loreto is lucky to have them," Bolles said. "Most exciting is being part of the input for making new laws that will be enacted. Front and center is the fact that we need to send comments from concerned citizens regarding the Puerto Escondido-Ligui projects. The commentary will enable us to have a public meeting about the desal plant proposed there by Fonatur. They have no reasonable plan in place, and there are also the fisheries issues."
Bolles also said that the Baja Big Fish Company downtown store will be closed except for the busy summer season, but that fishing operations will continue as usual from her new home office, with phone numbers still 011-52-613-135-1603 and 011-521-613-111-7430, email address unchanged at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the same website at Bajabigfish.com.
Fishing at local Loreto locations was reported as generally slow.
Isla Coronado produced some yellowtail of 12 to 15 pounds, but mostly cabrilla, barracuda, and triggerfish. No roosterfish and few pargo were reported. "This location will make a quick comeback once our water temperatures increase," Bolles said.
Locations at Isla Carmen were slow due to low water temperatures and strong currents, except for some yellowtail caught at Punta Baja at the south end, and also at Isla Danzante closer to the Baja coast.
The small reefs of about 100 foot depth both north and south of Isla Catalana were slow.
Northern points along the Baja coast were not reported.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the San Felipe Title Company bookstore reported sunny February weather to 82 degrees. "Believe it or not, people are complaining about the heat!" Meders said.
San Felipe locals were abuzz over recent U.S. travel advisories warning about drug war problems in the border cities of Tijuana and Nogales. "I wish people would take notice that San Felipe is not part of the major drug war turf and that we still have our beautiful beaches and quiet desert," Meders said. "People should remember that this news certainly suits places like Las Vegas and San Diego, to reroute spring breakers to their own hotels and resorts. Any bad publicity about Mexico certainly doesn't hurt them. Please, everyone, let's not spread fear about Baja. Reasonable precautions are always needed everywhere. The same thing applies to the drug wars in Mexico. We need a little sane thinking, por favor."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported yellowtail being caught by local boats. "The morning bite is picking up, Replogle said. "San Antonio Point to Deer Island has had the bite more often than Doble to Haystack. The fish are moving around."
A trip to the Lago Obregon freshwater bass lake with Replogle's 15-foot boat produced a dozen bass of 2 to 4 pounds plus some smaller fish, caught on chartreuse spinner baits and crank baits at 10 to 20 feet deep. Surface water temperatures at the lake were at 72 to 75 degrees.
"I could see no sign that the fish have spawned, and I never have," Replogle said. "Maybe they have to wait for a cold year? What a beautiful lake!"
Also noted were plenty of bugs at the lake. "I sprayed myself about 8 times during the day to keep them off," Replogle said. "But I am feeling the bites."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 21 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, 2 mako shark, and 1 broadbill swordfish of 274 pounds.
Five inshore super pangas had a catch of: Mexico fishing limits of mojarra, 65 triggerfish, 62 cabrilla, 21 jack crevalle, and 15 snappers.
"The week's thriller catch was the season's first swordfish, captured by anglers Wayne Washerol, Andrew Gay, and Ron Gay after a battle of 2.5 hours," Edwards said. "According marina manager Geronimo Cevallos, this is the first swordfish taken in the Mazatlan area in 2 years. But, fishing remains difficult for the Mazatlan fleet."
The swordfish was caught by the boat Aries III with Capt. Martin Raygoza, who trolled a large mullet bait into position near the fish and stopped the boat to wait for a strike.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was near perfect in the mid-80s, with calm seas, light breezes, and water temperatures ranging from 68 to 69 degrees inshore to 71 to 72 degrees offshore.
Aries Fleet boats searched a wide area for offshore fish.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter's Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported blue marlin, striped marlin, dorado, and yellowfin tuna to about 60 pounds present about 15 miles northwest of the El Banco offshore fishing spot. "This week, the Magnifico with Capt. Alonso came in every day with something different," Gabruk said.
Shorter runs to the Islas Marietas and locations north of Punta Mita produced African pompano at about 25 pounds, roosterfish to 59 inches, jack crevalle, needlefish, dorado to 35 pounds, and possible shots at sailfish.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 9 short, 4-hour outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 11 king mackerel or peto, 1 grouper, 4 dorado, and 1 Atlantic barracuda.
"It was a fairly slow fishing report," Edwards said, "but mostly due to a lack of anglers."
Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with easterly winds of 5 to 15 knots, moderate sea conditions, and water temperatures even at 78 to 79 degrees. "The best bait continues to be rigged ballyhoo, which are plentiful year-round throughout the Cancun area," Edwards said.